Wi-Fi Product Watch, June 2009

By Wi-Fi Planet Staff

June 25, 2009

iPhone's components cost $179; Taridium adds iPhone interface for enterprise PBX; WeFi launches mobile app store for Symbian; T-Mobile Dash 3G with Wi-Fi due out in July; new dual-band handset coming from TCM; will iPhone and Steve Jobs arrive together?; yet another BlackBerry without Wi-Fi; T-Mobile hacked?; and more.

It cost Apple $178.96 to make its newest iPhone, the 3G S, according to a teardown analysis by research firm iSuppli.

The 16GB iPhone retails in the U.S. for $199 with a two-year contract with AT&T, Apple's exclusive carrier.

The iSuppli analysis is based on its own physical deconstruction of the 16GB device and the firm's estimates of component costs.

Like most manufacturers, Apple doesn't release costs or detailed component information, which can sometimes make it hard to identify parts that aren't always labeled or for which the cost isn't readily available. Click here for the full story from InternetNews.com.

June 22, 2009

VoIP services provider Taridium announced Wednesday that customers using iPhone can now access internal enterprise PBX extensions from that device. The new feature is the latest addition to the company's IPBX service offering.

"One of the big advantages of the Taridium ipbx iPhone interface is that users can now access internal PBX extensions directly from their mobile phone with a single click—it basically allows you to take your office extension with you," Taridium chief technology officer Dominique Kull said in a statement.

The iPhone functionality extends toIPBX's visual voicemail system, which lets iPhone users check—and listen to—voicemails from their mobile phone, as well as return calls and host multi-party conferences.

The interface also permits enterprises to record and review phone calls for compliance reasons, Taridium said. For the full story at EnterpriseVoIPPlanet.com, click here.

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WeFi, the global community-based network of free Wi-Fi hotspots, today announced the launch of its new app store, WeFiApps for Symbian S60 mobile phones. "The first Wi-Fi-powered launch pad for mobile applications," WeFiApps offers data-intensive mobile applications, powered by WeFi’s "high-performance global Wi-Fi network."

Users can download a variety of mobile applications, and then WeFi says it will automatically connect and maintain the best Wi-Fi connection, wherever they are located. Apps include: communication services, such as instant messaging, mobile e-mail, and VoIP; entertainment software, such as games, sports, mobile video and TV; information sources, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and maps, social networks, news, and more. 

Companies scheduled to incorporate their applications in WeFiApps include: fring, Joiku, Nimbuzz, Shape Services, NewACT, and HOVR. WeFi said in a press release today that "these applications benefit from the automatic bandwidth boosting, as well as exposure to an audience of Internet-savvy users."

“With a sharp increase predicted in mobile Internet use over the next few years, increased Wi-Fi availability is significantly useful in unleashing mobile Internet applications and services,” said Zur Feldman, CEO of WeFi in today's release.  “WeFiApps enables users to enhance their mobile Internet activities in their personal and professional lives, all the time utilizing a PC-like Internet experience over a mobile phone.  It is yet another example of WeFi consistently coming up with innovative ideas for leading Wi-Fi technology forward, and raising the standard of the wireless experience. ”

Apps are free to download from www.wefiapps.com, although some cost money to use. More details at www.wefi.com.

More on WeFi from Wi-FiPlanet here:

June 18, 2009

T-Mobile continues to win our vote as the nation's most Wi-Fi-friendly cellular carrier.

On Wednesday, the company announced a new Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone, the T-Mobile Dash 3G.

Designed by HTC, the Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone features integrated 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. It comes in a "glossy-black" finish with red accents, and provides a full-QWERTY keyboard along with a trackball for input.

This upgrade of the T-Mobile Dash also includes GPS and synchronization with Microsoft Outlook. It is slated to go on sale in July. 

**

Cellular VoIP provider, TCM Mobile, announced today a new dual-band handset. "Unlike current dual-band Wi-Fi phones on the market, TCM Mobile’s new handset will default automatically on the company’s cellular VoIP network and use GSM when outside of the TCM signal range," a spokesperson told Wi-Fi Planet.

The new handset is scheduled for release this fall and will be TCM's first foray into dual-band phones.

“While our new handset is scheduled for release in two to three months, we can currently take any existing dual-band handset available on the market and, together with its manufacturer, embed TCM’s revolutionary, patented software into it. This represents a significant opportunity for these manufacturers to grow sales of their own branded handsets in conjunction with the deployment of TCM’s Cellular VoIP network”, said a TCM Mobile senior executive in a press release today.

Related articles:

**

Steve Jobs and the Apple iPhone
Source: Reuters
Few events in the technology world can rival the attention a new iPhone launch draws, but the return of Steve Jobs to Apple would surely be one of them.

The new, souped-up iPhone 3G S goes on sale tomorrow, as investors and gadget lovers alike await the presumed re-emergence of Apple's famed chief executive, who has been on medical leave for about six months.

The consumer electronics giant remains mum on exactly when and how Jobs will come back, repeating the now-familiar mantra that Apple looks forward to his return at the end of June.

It is possible, analysts say, that Jobs could soon shift to a new post that would allow him to focus on big-picture issues and products, while Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, currently acting CEO, manages the company. For the full story from InternetNews, click here

June 16, 2009

Microsoft is getting ready to unveil a long-anticipated free antivirus service for personal computers that will compete with products sold by Symantec and McAfee.

A Microsoft spokesman said on Wednesday that the world's biggest software maker is testing an early version of the product with its own employees. Microsoft would "soon" make a trial version, or product beta, available via its Web site, he added, but declined to provide a specific date.

Symantec shares fell 0.5 percent on NASDAQ and McAfee fell 1.3 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, while Microsoft was up 2.1 percent. The NASDAQ composite index was down 0.47 percent.

Investors are closely monitoring the free service, codenamed Morro after Brazil's Morro de Sao Paolo beach, amid concern it could hurt sales of products from Symantec and McAfee, which generate billions of dollars of revenue a year protecting Windows PCs from attacks by hackers. For the full story at InternetNews.com, click here.

**

Yet another BlackBerry without Wi-Fi was announced by RIM today. The BlackBerry Tour smartphone will be available from carriers in North America this summer. It features: built-in GPS; 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus, and video recording; full HTML Web browser, including support for streaming audio and video (RTSP); and 256MB Flash memory. More details at the RIM Web site.

June 9, 2009

Although a blog reported Monday that T-Mobile was hacked, all the hackers actually seemed to have was a list of T-Mobile server names.

A T-Mobile spokesperson told our sister site InternetNews.com in an e-mail, "The protection of our customers' information, and the safety and security of our systems, is absolutely paramount at T-Mobile. Regarding the recent claim, we are fully investigating the matter. As is our standard practice, if there is any evidence that customer information has been compromised, we would inform those affected as soon as possible."

Security experts are left to guess at what happened.

Some thought that perhaps the hackers got into the network but did not get far. "Hackers have posted a list of servers they allegedly accessed and it is very comprehensive with some sensitive info in it. My guess is that they have been able to get access to the list of servers but not much more," Amichai Shulman, CTO of data security vendor Imperva, wrote in an e-mail to InternetNews.com. For the full InternetNews.com story, click here.

T-Mobile issued a revised statement to the press on Tuesday afternoon, which read: "Following a recent online posting that someone allegedly accessed T-Mobile servers, the company is conducting a thorough investigation and at this time has found no evidence that customer information, or other company information, has been compromised.  Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and should be corrected.  T-Mobile continues to monitor this situation and as a precaution has taken additional measures to further ensure our customers' information and our systems are protected.  As is our standard practice, customers can be assured if there is any evidence that customer or system information has been compromised, we would inform those affected as quickly as possible."

June 8, 2009

For the Palm Pre's launch, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Now that the embattled handset maker's do-or-die smartphone is on sale, analysts see a number of challenges ahead both for Palm and the rest of the smartphone market.

While Palm may have wanted to have the Pre on store shelves before any new iPhones come out, the timing of the launch, two days before the Apple developer conference, is being called a strategic mistake by industry watchers.

"Palm's launch of the Pre at Sprint revives Palm as a company and brand. Unfortunately, the timing just ahead of Apple's next iPhone launch limits Palm's time in the press spotlight," Avi Greengart, analyst at Current Analysis, told InternetNews.com. Click here for the full story.

**

Before a packed hall of more than 5,000 attendees, Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC)with new MacBook Pro notebooks. Apple's vice president of marketing, Phil Schiller unveiled new notebooks in its MacBook Pro line.

Key to the announcements was rounding out its MacBook Pro line by upgrading the 13-inch MacBook into the Pro line with new features and a price cut. The base model now starts at $1,199 with a 2.26 Intel dual-core processor, 2 GB RAM and 256 GB storage.

All of the MacBook Pro's sport a lithium ion battery that Schiller says boasts a 7-hour battery life. The 15-inch MacBook Pro now has a lower price starting at $1,699. Apple also updated its MacBook Air, one of the world's thinnest notebooks, dropping the price to $1,499 (a $300 decrease) with a 120 GB hard drive. A model with a 128 GB solid state drive is now $1,799, a $700 drop from the earlier price.

The pricing news from Apple comes at a time of notebook price cuts across the industry and the rise a new generation of smaller netbooks priced from $199 to $500. For the rest of the story from InternetNews, click here. For Wi-Fi Planet's coverage, read:

Cheers for New iPhone, Jeers for AT&T Apple today announced its new iPhone, the 3G S which, despite being named for its speed, still features 802.11b/g Wi-Fi. Upgrades include 30% more battery life for Wi-Fi use and tethering--although not for AT&T customers. (Sorry, America.)

June 5, 2009

Reuters reports via InternetNews.com that the long-awaited Pre has nice new touches, but Palm has a lot of work to do if the device is to be a serious competitor to the iPhone.

Palm Pre
A Pre Preview Source: Reuters

The device seemed to live up to some expectations but fall short on others for the Retuers reporter who played around with the Pre for just a few days.

The interface, apparently, does feel new and interesting with some lovely bells and whistles. But features like photo-viewing and surfing are sometimes painfully slow and social networking integration does not go as far as this correspondent hoped. For more on the much ballyhooed Wi-Fi-enabled Palm OS smartphone, read the full story here.

June 4, 2009

Ruckus Wireless this week launched its new Ruckus WiSE Guy (Wi-Fi Solutions Engineer) Smart Wi-Fi certification program for channel partners and end users.

The certification program was developed to help channel partners, integrators, and end users better cope with the nuances of indoor and outdoor wireless deployments using Ruckus’s patented dynamic beamforming Wi-Fi technology.

"In a short period of time, Ruckus has established a following for delivering carrier-quality Wi-Fi products and world class support services that go along with it," said Kyung Yi, vice president of Customer Advocacy at Ruckus Wireless in a press release Wednesday. "The explosive growth in the number of Ruckus solution partners, along with our installed base of wireless systems, has driven the need for a formal certification program."

Ruckus has shipped 1.5 million Ruckus-branded Wi-Fi systems worldwide.

More on Ruckus:

Industry Insiders: Ruckus Wireless CEO, Selina Lo

Ruckus Wireless IPTV in OK Homes

Review: Ruckus Wireless ZoneFlex 7942 Access Point

**

In addition to this week’s Computex in Taipei, the 2009 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 09) is also taking place in Tampa, Florida.

Wi-Fi news out of conference includes the Luxul Wireless announcement today it has signed an agreement with Smartronix, a supplier of turnkey system solutions used in military and government applications. The agreement will allow Luxul products to be integrated within Smartronix systems and kits.

Initially, Smartronix will integrate Luxul’s Shock-WAV Frequency Translating Amplifier (FTA), which converts standard 5GHz signals to the U.S. government restricted 4.4GHz band, and Luxul’s X-WAV Antenna products into its LastLink solution. LastLink is “targeted for use” by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to deliver secure point-to-point links between military locations, while also enabling local Wi-Fi access at those locations.

The Luxul Wireless FTA allows commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies to be adapted for use within secure government band applications. Luxul says its X-WAV antennas “deliver superior signal range in challenging environments where obstructions often impede signal propagation or where mobility is a requirement.”

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